China: Ancient Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Chinese tradition holds that throughout most of its history, China has relegated warfare and military matters to a secondary role within society.

Military Achievement

Chinese tradition holds that throughout most of its history, China has relegated warfare and military matters to a secondary role within society. From the earliest dynastic records onward, the Chinese have deliberately differentiated Wen (cultural matters)wen (cultural or civil) and Wu (martial matters) wu (martial) matters. The perfectly ordered society is one in which literate culture triumphs over mere force, and military matters are disdained. Civilized Chinese need not use brute force to maintain internal peace or repulse external aggression. Instead, cultural superiority and demonstrated moral virtue suffice in the pursuit of peace.China;ancientChina;ancient

Despite these ideals, China’s early history revolved around conquest and the centralization of the state. Every major dynasty was founded through warfare, and once unified, China guarded its frontiers with military force and sought to expand its territory at the expense of southern and western neighbors. Inevitably, each dynasty in turn fell as a result of warfare.

The Shang DynastyShang (Chang) are the first historically identifiable ancestors of the Chinese. ChengtangChengtangChengtang (Ch’eng T’ang) is credited with founding the dynasty, following his decisive victory over Emperor Jie (Chieh) of the Xia (Hsia) Xia DynastyDynasty in 1523 b.c.e. at the Battle of Ming Ming Jiao, Battle of (1523 b.c.e.)Jiao (Ming Chiao). In a recurring pattern of Chinese historiography, the victorious commander’s success is attributed to his moral superiority and his opponent’s wretchedness.

Accordingly, the Shang fell as a result of Emperor Zhou Zhou XinZhou XinXin’s (Chou Hsin) overall bad character and practice of mutilating pregnant women and murdering innocents with abandon. King Wu, KingWu, KingWu (the Martial King) led the Zhou into a decisive battle at Muye (Mu-yeh) in 1027 Muye, Battle of (1027 b.c.e.)b.c.e. According to the Shiji (Shih Chi) annals, the Zhou were vastly outnumbered, confronting a Shang army of 700,000 with a lilliputian force of 300 chariots, 3,000 Tiger Guards, and 45,000 foot soldiers. Despite the Shang’s overwhelming numbers, the Zhou routed them in a matter of hours. Following an initial charge of one hundred infantry, the chariots were deployed to the astonishment of the Shang troops, who reportedly had never encountered such a mass attack. After their king fled, the Shang forces “inverted their weapons” and gave up the fight. After the death of King Wu, his brother, the duke of Zhou, acted as regent for his young nephew. During his regency, the Zhou domain expanded eastward and purportedly brought fifty states under Zhou control.

The Zhou DynastyZhou policy of decentralized rule in its peripheral territories eventually led to its decline in 722 b.c.e., when an alliance of disgruntled vassals and a nomadic tribe killed the Zhou king. Despite moving the capital farther east to avoid further incursions, the Zhou never fully recovered, inaugurating nearly five hundred years of unremitting violence and warfare.

The remaining half of the Zhou dynastic age is subdivided into two sections: the Chunqiu periodChunqiu (Ch’un Ch’iu) or Spring and Autumn period (c. 770-476 b.c.e.) and the Warring States Warring States period (China)period (c. 475-221 b.c.e.). This was an age characterized by the growth of powerful independent states, shifting alliances, and open warfare. Beside a dozen major states, innumerable smaller states existed, some no more than a town surrounded by a thick earthen wall and a few square miles of marginal territory. As Zhou power declined, the major states asserted increasing independence, until, by the Warring States period, their rulers had assumed the title of king. New technologies, including the long sword, crossbow, and iron implements, allowed the larger states to conquer and control surrounding territories.

Around 307 b.c.e. King Wu Wu LingWu LingLing of Zhao (Chao) took a cue from the nomadic tribes to the north and introduced the deployment of Cavalry;Chinacavalry. Faster and far more mobile than the war chariot, cavalry revolutionized Warring States conflicts and prompted a change in Chinese uniforms: In place of their traditional long robes, Chinese soldiers now adopted the short tunics and trousers of their northern neighbors. Infantry also took on greater importance, as wars spread into the mountainous terrain and marshy valleys of the Chang (Yangtze) region.

Final unification occurred in 221 b.c.e. when the Qin DynastyQin (Ch’in) systematically defeated its rivals and imposed centralized control over the region. The Qin victory has been traced to two important factors: the strict and ruthless policies of Legalism (China)Legalism, which brought Qin subjects under the iron hand of the state, and a highly efficient military structure in which cavalry, iron weapons, and massed infantry overwhelmed their opponents. Following unification, the Qin ordered the confiscation of their opponents’ weapons, which were subsequently melted down and molded into twelve statues at the new capital. Old states were abolished, the country was divided into thirty-six commanderies headed by a civil governor and military commander, and prominent families moved to the capital. Once in power, the First Emperor Qin Shihuangdiiqin Shihuangdi (Ch’in Shih huang-ti; 259-210 b.c.e.) secured his northern borders and took control of the southern coast near Guangzhou (Canton).

Upon Shihuangdi’s death in 210 b.c.e., the Qin Dynasty immediately fell into chaos, and by 206 b.c.e., the Han Han DynastyDynasty had been established. Despite constant invasions from the north by the nomadic Xiongnu (ancestors of Huns)Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu), the Han managed to retain control of the country, and under the leadership of Wu Wu DiWu DiDi (Wu Tii, 156-87 b.c.e.), the Martial Emperor, greatly expanded their territorial holdings. Between 136 and 56b.c.e., twenty-five major expeditions were sent, fourteen to the northwest and west, three to the northeast, and eight to the south. In one case, a force of more than 300,000 launched an attack on the Xiongnu (133 b.c.e.). To safeguard his conquests, Wu Di established garrisons along the military routes and sent more than 2,000,000 Chinese to the northwest as colonists. One legendary encounter is reported to have occurred in 42 b.c.e. While on an expedition in the northern district of Sogdiana, a Chinese force purportedly engaged a group of Xiongnu accompanied by Roman legionaries. The Chinese victory is attributed to the use of the Crossbows;Chinacrossbow, the arrows of which apparently easily penetrated Roman armor and shields.

By 190 c.e., the Han had begun its decline, and in 194 General Cao Cao CaoCao CaoCao (Ts’ao Ts’ao; 155-220 c.e.) had emerged victorious in the ensuing civil war. Upon his death, however, the southern states refused to recognize the central authority of the upstart Cao Cao family, and the Han Empire was quickly divided into three major regions, inaugurating yet another 400-year period of almost-constant warfare.

Following the breakup of the Han, three Three Kingdoms periodkingdoms emerged. The Wei kingdomWei (220-265) dominated the north and moved into Korea, Shu-Han kingdom[Shu Han kingdom]Shu-Han (221-263) in the southwest subdued several indigenous tribes, and the southern Wu kingdomWu (222-280) expanded as far as Vietnam. In 265, following the conquest of the Shu-Han and the Wu, a Wei general announced the creation of a new dynasty, the Jin Jin Dynasty(Chin), which would survive until 420. Southern China would then experience a succession of four southern dynasties, lasting into the sixth century. Meanwhile, a series of northern tribes ruled Northern China until 386, when the northern Wei successfully defeated the last kingdom and secured rule until 533.

Weapons, Uniforms, and Armor

Weaponry evolved considerably over the period from 1500 b.c.e. to 500 c.e. During the Shang Shang DynastyMetallurgy;ChinaDynasty, metallurgy had advanced to the point that nobility was primarily armed with bronze weapons, whereas commoners fought with arms made of wood, stone, or animal bones. Among the common weapons found in grave sites are bronze-tipped spears, probably the earliest known weapons in Chinese history; daggers; the composite reflexive bow and arrow, with the bow both longer and more powerful than its Western counterpart; and the ge- (ko-) Halberds halberd, a Battle-axes[battle axes];China battle-ax with a curved bronze blade horizontally mounted atop a long wooden shaft approximately 43 inches long. Used primarily to hook and then slash one’s opponent, late variations added a spear to the tip, a hooked blade behind the first, and another to the butt.

The war Chariots;Chinachariot also played a central role in early Chinese warfare. First introduced to China from the northwest in 1200 b.c.e., the chariot evolved from a symbol of royal power and prestige to a vehicle adapted to the exigencies of siege warfare during the Warring States period. Typically, a chariot team consisted of three men: the driver in the center, a warrior armed with a Ge-halberd[Ge halberd]ge-halberd on the right, and an archer to the left. Each would be accompanied by a platoon of foot soldiers armed with spears. Whereas Shang chariots were used primarily as elevated, mobile command posts for royalty, their Zhou counterparts were employed extensively in battle. States were judged by the number of chariots they could field, and battle records routinely reported the numbers captured. The Zuo Zhuan (Tso chuan, c. 475-221 b.c.e. ; Tso chuan, 1872) attributes 4,900 chariots to the large Jin state, whereas the much smaller Zhu (Chu) boasted 600 chariots.

As the Warring States Warring States period (China)period progressed, the chariot was adapted to the emergence of armored infantry and new siege warfare tactics. To ward off infantry, knife blades were added to wheel hubs. Furthermore, whereas previous armies had routinely avoided fortified cities rather than expending manpower on their capture, the newly significant role of cities as economic and political centers now warranted aggressive assaults. Accordingly, chariots were outfitted with large shields, towers, battering rams, movable ladders, and multiarrow crossbows. InSiege warfare;Chinadefense, towns employed a bewildering array of iron and wooden caltrops, collapsible fences, sharp iron stakes, “mined” moats, and a variety of long axes, halberds, fire-lances, and hammers. Vessels containing water, iron, sand, and human excrement were also available to hurl upon the heads of besiegers.

Swords Swords;Chinado not appear until the middle of the Chunqiu, or Spring and Autumn, period, when they were probably adopted from steppe nomads. The earliest were fashioned from bronze, with iron swords becoming widespread during the Qin Dynasty. Although long, double-edged swords are mentioned as early as the seventh century b.c.e., most would appear to have been relatively short and used principally for thrusting rather than slashing. By the Warring States period, they had become standardized as the jien Jien (chien) sword (chien), a double-edged sword with a blade measuring approximately 2 feet, eventually reaching a length of 3 feet during the Han Dynasty.

Clearly the most important innovation in early Chinese warfare was the crossbow. Developed in China sometime in the fifth century b.c.e., the new weapon was more powerful and far more accurate than the composite bow. The standard Crossbows;Chinacrossbow consisted of a wooden stock, a bow of laminated bamboo, and an intricately designed bronze trigger mechanism. The mortised stock supported the bow and included both a channel for the arrow and a pistol grip. Trigger mechanisms were complicated devices containing three moving pieces on two shafts that could hold a very heavy-tension load while firing easily and delivering a bolt with greater impact than that of a high-velocity rifle. By removing two pins, the mechanism could be dismantled in case of capture, and the Chinese would guard the secret of its construction well into the Han Dynasty. The earliest bows could be hand-cocked, whereas the later, more powerful versions required either leg strength or a rope tied to the waist. By the time of the Qin Dynasty, crossbows had evolved into repeating models, those which could fire two bolts simultaneously, and larger, winch-powered versions mounted on carts and chariots.

Much has been learned about Qin armor of the third century b.c.e. is known from the life-size terra-cotta figures unearthed near the first emperor’s tomb.

(Robin Chen)

The first ChineseArmor;Chinaarmor appeared during the Shang Dynasty as simple, lacquered leather breastplates secured with leather thongs. Leather continued to be used as late as the sixth century c.e. By contrast, the first helmets were bronze and highly decorated. The construction of Zhou armor became more detailed, with body armor composed of small rectangular pieces strung into rows and fastened with leather thongs, a process known as lamellar Lamellar armorconstruction. Individual pieces and the rows themselves were then lacquered and colored.

A great deal about Qin armor is known from the life-size terra-cotta figures unearthed near the first emperor’s tomb. Several styles of armor are noted, including short mail jackets of lamellar construction designed to cover the entire upper body; lamellar chest protectors; lamellar armor for charioteers, which includes both neck guards and armor extending to the wrists with plates to protect the hands; and that of the cavalry, shorter than the others and missing shoulder guards. Under the armor, each warrior wears a long-sleeved robe reaching to the knees, along with a heavy cloth bundle at the neck. Short trousers are also discernible.

Close-up of a Qin soldier and horse from the terra-cotta excavations.

(Robin Chen)

Not until the time of the Han Dynasty was iron used for certain types of armor. Most armor consisted of plates arranged in the lamellar construction, designed to protect the neck, front, back, and thighs. One such suit contained 500 plates and weighed nearly 22 pounds. By the late Han Dynasty, authors begin referring to brilliant dark armor, which may suggest a suit made of decarburized steel, although none have been recovered as yet.

Infantry typically appeared without armor and were generally equipped with little more than a shield and helmet. Most infantrymen wore a simple tunic, trousers, and leather shin guards. Helmets;ChinaHelmets varied from the simple head-covering tied under the chin to heavier versions with straight earflaps. Iron helmets began to appear during the Warring States period but did not become prevalent until the Han Dynasty. Cavalry were furnished with a helmet, a mail jacket with a high collar and flared bottom, and a chaplike protector for the front of the leg.

Horse Armor;horsesarmor, or Bardingbarding, appears in some of the earliest histories, but no evidence exists for its use until the end of the Han Dynasty. By that time, the cavalry had become an integral part of warfare, and as the cavalryman’s armor improved, measures were also taken to ensure the safety of the horse. Early barding was of a single piece, protecting the top and underside of the horse’s neck down to the chest, with some also covering the underside of the belly. As it evolved, barding became five separate pieces: head mask, neck guard, chest and shoulder guards, side armor, and rump armor. Lamellar construction was again used, with materials varying based on period and geographic region. After Stirrupsstirrups were introduced in the fourth century, the armor for cavalrymen and horses became heavier and more formidable.

Shields Shields;Chinesevaried according to usage, with those carried by charioteers slightly longer than the ge-halberd, and those for the infantrymen somewhat shorter. Built on wooden frames, shields were made of either leather or lacquered cloth stretched across the front. Occasionally the leather was fortified by bronze and in some cases painted with patterns and designs. Iron shields appeared alongside iron weapons and the crossbow, although in relatively small quantities until the Qin and Han Dynasties.

Military Organization

Shang Dynasty military organization is open to a great deal of speculation. Given the paucity of reliable literary sources, scholars are dependent on archaeological evidence and speculation concerning the actual role of chariots in early warfare. It is clear that Shang social structure centered on clan units designated as zu (tsu). Most scholars believe that the Zu (Chinese military unit) zu represent military units assigned to protect the walled towns in which they resided. The zu chief functioned as the local military leader; the same arrangement applied to the royal capital, with the king acting as military leader for the kingdom. Each zu may have numbered one hundred members of the nobility, all under the command of the chief or king. A standing army consisting of selected zu members maintained order during peacetime, and all members were subject to mobilization when necessary. In such cases, ten zu were combined to form an army of 10,000. Oracle records suggest that infantry and archers alike were organized into companies of one hundred warriors. Three such companies constituted a regiment, deployed as left, middle, and right companies.

Under the Zhou Dynasty, the Chariots;Chinachariot emerged as the most important factor in organizing the military. Later tradition holds that each three-man chariot team was accompanied by a platoon of twenty-five infantry, arranged into five squads. Five companies of four chariots were further organized into brigades, then into platoons of 25, divisions of 2,500, and armies of 12,500. Command originated with the emperor, who often led many campaigns himself. A variety of commanders served under him; unfortunately, little is known concerning their functions. Included are such ministers as the Director of Horses, the Runner of Horses, the Commandant, and the Commander. None, however, appear to have been entrusted with full command over imperial forces.

Apart from local variations, this organizational structure held throughout the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. However, whereas warfare in the former was conducted by the nobility following strict codes of honor and chivalrous behavior, the latter was marked by increasing violence and retributive combat. As war intensified, the need for manpower increased dramatically, with forced Drafts;Chinaconscription becoming the norm. Although only a single male from each family was required to serve during the Spring and Autumn period, every male became subject to military levy during the Warring States period.

Qin armies were filled through the conscription of peasants into local militia units available for immediate call-ups. Every male between the ages of seventeen and sixty served as either a warrior or a laborer. The Han modified this policy, filling its ranks with conscripts, volunteers, and convicts. Every male between the ages of twenty-three and fifty-six was required to serve two years, one in training, the other in active service at a garrison. Following their stint, soldiers joined the local militia until age fifty-six.

Both the Qin and Han used increasingly sophisticated armies combining infantry, chariots, crossbowmen, and cavalry. The first Qin emperor implemented the use of mounted crossbowmen and their coordination with the composite bow. These combined armies allowed the Chinese to deploy small independent units, as well as traditionally organized larger armies, in the field.

Although the nobility continued to fill the highest command positions, junior officers began to emerge from the general rank and file, being chosen on the basis of ability. Advancement was based on merit, with an elaborate system of differentiated pay relative to one’s seniority and rank. Officers were assigned as a particular need arose. Titles and roles related specifically to the campaign, with several generals assigned to each to avoid possible coups.

The Han military was organized into three principal units: a standing garrison at the capital, a task force on the march, and a permanent frontier defense. Once mobilized in an emergency, the military was organized into divisions led by the generals, regiments led by colonels, companies led by captains, and platoons led by commanders. Although local variations would appear in the chaos that followed upon the collapse of the Han, this basic organizational structure as established by the Qin and Han continued to prevail.

The size of Chinese armies has been notoriously difficult to calculate, particularly for the earliest Shang and Western Zhou periods. As noted above, the war between the Zhou and Shang was said to have been fought by a Shang army of 700,000 and a Zhou force of 300 chariots, 3,000 Tiger Guards, and 45,000 foot soldiers. By the Spring and Autumn period, when warfare had become highly ritualized and was dominated by aristocratic charioteers, field armies typically numbered in the thousands but would appear to have rarely exceeded 10,000. As the scale of war increased in the Warring States period, the size of armies grew dramatically. In order to lay siege to fortified cities and to conduct wars that often took years to complete, hundreds of thousands of men were required. According to one contemporary account, the typical army consisted of “one thousand chariots, ten thousands of cavalry, and several hundred thousand armored warriors.” The smallest of the warring states fielded armies of more than 300,000; the largest, such as Qin, commanded more than 1,000,000. Likewise, Han expeditions numbering from 50,000 to 300,000 were routinely sent out to quell rebellions and punish nomadic invaders.

Doctrine, Strategy, and Tactics

Throughout the Shang and early Zhou periods, warfare was violent and fought in the Homeric style. Chariots served as transport or observational platforms, and warriors fought with spears, axes, and composite bows. If the military classic the Taigong (Shang military classic) Taigong (T’ai Kung, c. third century b.c.e. ; Tai Kung’s Six Secret Teachings, 1993) is to be trusted in its account of the Zhou triumph over the Shang, total warfare was to be fought by utilizing every conceivable method and resource necessary to achieve victory. The state’s resources and all customary means of production were to be employed in the campaign’s execution. Strategically, the capable general would analyze the entire situation before engaging the enemy, gauging such factors as terrain, methods of attack and counterattack, escape routes, and techniques for psychological warfare. The Taigong advocates employing subterfuge and deception as the most effective means of securing victory. Among other tactics, the successful campaign would utilize feints, false attacks, and limited encounters to confuse and disorient the enemy before the main attack. In prosecuting the war, the best strategies would promote confusion within the enemy’s ranks through aggression, misinformation, and speed. The humane treatment of prisoners would encourage others to surrender.

A Chinese Tiger Guard with weapons.

(North Wind Picture Archives via AP Images)

A new era of warfare began in the Spring and Autumn period. This was the great age of Chivalry;Chinachivalry, in which honor and virtue dictated both strategy and the conduct of warfare. Fighting was ideally a game played between members of the nobility, mounted in chariots and accompanied by platoons of foot soldiers. During the heyday of chariot warfare, gentlemen studied the arts of charioteering, archery, and virtuous conduct. Actual combat followed an excessively strict code of conduct calling for bravery, valor, and honor. War was to be pursued with moderation and respect for the opponent. For instance, the duke of Song (Sung) waited for his enemy to cross a river and arrange his battle forces before launching his attack. Following his humiliating defeat, the duke justified his action by referring to the sage, who “does not crush the feeble nor order the attack until his enemy has formed his ranks.” In another instance, “Yen Hsi shot a man in the eyebrow and retired, saying ‘I have no valor. I was aiming at his eye.’”

China During the Warring States and Han Dynasty,475 b.c.e.-221 c.e.

Such sentiments were forgotten during the Warring States period. However, even as the violence escalated, strategists continued to advocate deception and speed as the primary means of securing victory. Siege Siege warfare;Chinawarfare introduced new strategies and tactics, as massive armies sought to wrest control of fortified cities from their occupants, who in turn deployed new technologies designed to repulse the aggressors. In this regard, the Mohists became the undisputed masters of defensive warfare in ancient China.

Bingfa (c. 510 b.c.e. ; The Art of War, Art of War, The (Sunzi) 1910), by Sunzi SunziSunzi (Sun Tzu; fl. c. 500 b.c.e. ), is certainly the most famous text from this period. A general in the service of Wu, Sunzi had the primary objective of obtaining victory without combat. He argued that a more comprehensive victory could be forged by using diplomatic means, breaking up alliances, and thwarting the enemy’s own strategy. In general, one should gain victory at the least cost possible, for both oneself and the enemy. “Thus attaining one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the height of excellence. Subjugating the enemy’s army without fighting is the true height of excellence.” Failing that, he emphasized the manipulation of the enemy through the use of terrain, psychology, and the employment of both unorthodox and orthodox methods. Sunzi believed that “warfare is the way [dao/tao] of Deception deception,” advancing where least expected and attacking where the enemy is least prepared. Although he advocated unorthodox methods such as flanking movements and circular thrusts, Sunzi also insisted that orthodox measures could be effective, if they were employed in an unorthodox manner.

While specific tactics and strategies evolved and adapted to new technologies and the changing face of war, the fundamental principles espoused by Sunzi and other classical theoreticians continued to hold sway. From the Warring States period to the chaos following the fall of the Han, Chinese warfare emphasized the doctrine of Maneuverability;doctrine ofmaneuverability. Beginning with the fundamental organization of armies into flexible, self-reliant units of five, military maneuvers sought to exploit enemy weaknesses through speed, deception, and misdirection. Every strategist sought to manipulate the enemy into disadvantageous positions by using surprise, by exploiting climatic and topographical factors, and by psychologically and physically destabilizing the enemy to gain temporary, context-specific advantages.

Thus, even as the Han adapted the Cavalry;Chinacavalry, they devised new strategies to defeat it. In 99 b.c.e., Li Li LingLi LingLing defeated a cavalry of 30,000 using only 5,000 infantrymen. Behind a line of infantry armed with shields and pikes, Li Ling positioned archers with powerful multiple-firing crossbows. The nomadic horsemen continually charged unsuccessfully. Zhuge Zhuge LiangZhuge LiangLiang (Chu-ko Liang, 181-234), who served as adviser to the founder of the Shu-Han Dynasty (221-263), was a brilliant mathematician, mechanical engineer, and military strategist who both used and wrote a commentary on Sunzi’s The Art of War. Said to have never fallen in battle, Zhuge became one of China’s most celebrated heroes, was named a Con-

fucian saint in 1724, and was immortalized in Luo Luo GuanzhongLuo GuanzhongGuanzhong’s (Lo Kuan-chung; c. 1320-c. 1380) fourteenth century Romance of the Three Kingdoms historical novel San kuo chi yen-i (Romance of the Three Kingdoms, 1925). Subsequent generations of tacticians continued to revere and employ the stratagems formulated by Sunzi and his contemporaries.

Ancient Sources

The most important primary sources fall into two basic categories. The first are the numerous histories compiled throughout this period. These include the Shujing (Shu ching), or Book of History (1918), which purports to cover the years 2357-627 b.c.e. ; the Chunqiu (Ch’un ch’iu), translated as Ch’un ts’ew in 1872 and also known as the Spring and Autumn Annals, chronicling the period from 722 to 481 b.c.e. ; the Zuo Zhuan (Tso chuan), or Tradition of Zuo, a commentary that carries Zhou history down to 468 b.c.e. ; and the first official Chinese history, the Shiji (Shih-chi, 104 b.c.e. ; Records of the Grand Historian of China, 1961), compiled by Sima Qian (Ssu-ma Ch’ien, c. 145-90 b.c.e. ).

The second principal resource consists of several military texts brought together during the Song (Sung) Dynasty (960-1126 c.e.) and placed in a collection known as the Seven Military Classics. Each provides varying degrees of detail concerning the art of warfare, military strategy, and organization, along with references to the types of weapons used. As traditionally arranged, the Seven Military Classics consist of Sunzi’s Bingfa, the Wuzi (Wu-tzu, c. 400 b.c.e. ; Wu-tzu, 1993), Sima Fa (Ssu-ma Fa, c. fourth century b.c.e. ; The Methods of the Ssu-ma, 1993), Lei Weigong Wen Dui (Lei Wei-kung Wen Tui, c. 600 c.e. ; Questions and Replies Between T’ang T’ai-tsung and Li Wei-kung, 1993), the Wei Liaozi (Wei Liao Tzu, c. fourth century b.c.e. ; Wei Liao-tzu, 1993), the Huang Shigong San Lüe (Huang Shi-kung San Lüeh, c. first century c.e. ; Three Strategies of Huang Shih-kung, 1993), and the Taigong.China;ancient

Books and Articles
  • Gabriel, Richard A. “China, 1750-256 b.c.e.” In The Ancient World. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2007.
  • _______. “Chinese Armies: The Shang and Zhou Periods, 1750-256 b.c.e.” In The Great Armies of Antiquity. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2002.
  • Gabriel, Richard A., and Donald W. Boose, Jr. “The Chinese Way of War: Chengpu, Guiling, Jingxing.” In The Great Battles of Antiquity: A Strategic and Tactical Guide to Great Battles That Shaped the Development of War. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
  • Graff, David A. “Ch’in Shih-huang-ti.” In The Reader’s Companion to Military History, edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • Kierman, Frank A., Jr., and John K. Fairbank, eds. Chinese Ways in Warfare. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974.
  • Lewis, Mark Edward. The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.
  • Needham, Joseph. Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges. Vol. 5 in Science and Civilisation in China. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Peers, C. J. Ancient Chinese Armies, 1500-200 B.C. Illustrated by Angus McBride. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 1990.
  • _______. Imperial Chinese Armies, 200 B.C.-A.D. 589. Illustrated by Michael Perry. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey, 1995.
  • Sawyer, Ralph D., trans. and comp. The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993.
  • Twitchett, Denis, and John K. Fairbank, eds. The Ch’in and Han Empires, 221 B.C.-A.D. 220. Vol. 1 in The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
  • Yates, Robin D. S. “Making War and Making Peace in Early China.” In War and Peace in the Ancient World, edited by Kurt A. Raaflaub. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2007.
Films and Other Media
  • First Emperor of China. Documentary. Razor Digital Entertainment, 2006.
  • Red Cliff. Feature film. Beijeng Film Studio, 2008.

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